Development of a Zone Differentiation Tool for Visualization of Postural Comfort 2008-01-0772
Over the past several years, significant advances have been made in the area of posture prediction. However, to make simulations more useful for vehicle design, additional unique tools are needed. This research focuses on the development of one such tool, called zone differentiation. This new tool allows user to visualize not only the complete reach envelope but also the interior comfort levels of the envelope. It uses a color map to display the relative values of various performance measures (i.e. comfort) at points surrounding an avatar. This is done by leveraging an optimization-based approach to posture prediction. Using this tool, a vehicle designer can visually display the impact that the placement of a control (switch, button, etc.) has on a driver's postural comfort. The comfort values are displayed in a manner similar to how a finite element analysis (FEA) programs display stress and strain results. The development of this tool requires two main components. First, both the simulated postures and the resultant comfort levels are correlated against actual experimental results. Second, the software tools needed to calculate and display the comfort zones, as well as the graphical user interface are developed.